Monday, September 17, 2012

Night of the Living Deactivated

Well, I have deactivated my Facebook account.  I made my husband (who has less than 20 "friends" and NEVER logs on...) the administrator for my useless business pages and then, I took the plunge.  It's really liberating.  Everytime I have the urge to open up another little tab to take a "peek" at my newsfeed, I remember, "I'm not on Facebook anymore!" Right now, I'm blogging, which, for me, is a warm-up for writing, and one of the reasons I wasn't blogging or writing is because I was on Facebook.

So, what brought this on?  Yesterday, I was "facebooking," as it's sometimes called, and this article appeared in my newsfeed.  It was posted by my favorite distributist scholar, John C. Médaille:
by D. Joshua Rubin (a blogger for The Motley Fool economic blog)
(I would re-title it 15 Signs Facebook is the Precursor to the Zombie Apocalypse)

Reason Number 1.)  The more time you spend on Facebook the worse you feel.

Resonate much?

I didn't need fourteen more signs of Facebook's pernicious decline, but I read them all, and I would have laughed my way down the list if I weren't actually on Facebook as I read them.

This one, however, did cause me to guffaw:
 Reason Number 8.)  FB is like a billion toddlers jumping on the bed, shouting for mommy's attention.

So very true.  Between newsfeeds, comment threads and picture albums, a typical facebook experience for me looks like this:
"Cute puppies!"  "Obama sucks!" "Romney's a clear and present danger!" "Newborn in intensive care-press 'Like' to show thoughts and prayers!" "Adorable hedgehogs!" "Harry Potter is Life!" "Harry Potter is the Devil's Tool!" "I'm pro-life!" "No, you're not, you're pro-birth!" "I'm pro-choice!"  "No you're not, you're pro-abortion!" "Sweet Miniature Horses!"  "Clydesdales Rule!"  "Kittens playing in a boot!" "Pink for Breast Cancer Research!" "Walk for Breast Cancer Research!" "Jog for Breast Cancer Reasearch!" "Marathon for Breast Cancer Research!" "Obama/Biden!" "Romney/Ryan!" "Cute, sweet, adorable puppy makes friends with cute, sweet, adorable hedgehogs, mini-horses and kittens as a kindly Clydesdale looks on indulgently."

To be liberated from the constant flow of inanities juxtaposed with substantial stuff (like the D. Joshua Rubin piece) has one downside, and it's a big one.

I now have a f'bombie, a Facebook zombie.  One's Facebook account never goes away and the profile "pic" reverts to the generic Facebook faceless head.  A f'bombie pic with your name will show up in friends' lists. One's profile becomes one of the legion of the Facebook Living Deactivated.

So, I put my fingers to keyboard.  I blog.  I work on my short stories and my novel.  I check in with other writers.  I go to my Writers Workshops.  I cook and clean and do some sewing.  I do some graphic artwork.  I walk. I pray. And I try not to think about my f'bombie.

But it's out there. I want to put a bullet in its profile pic, but f'bombie bullets don't exist.  Facebook is the keeper of all deactivated profiles. Perhaps that's Facebook's ultimate evil purpose: to amass an army of digital thralls who sightlessly appear in the lists of the activated; silent reminders that once there existed a profile that could "Like" and "Comment" and "Share."

Now, it seems, f'bombies silently await a command to ... what?

It pains me to think of it.

Lament for a Deactivated Profile
by R. T. Freeman 

Do not try to find my wall
Nor message send my way
My profile should not exist at all
Yet it languishes night and day
It cannot Like, Comment nor Send
Look not to it!  Desist!
To your posts, it may not attend,
For it dwells in Facebook's mist.
My profile cannot see your cat,
Your puppy it cannot "Like",
It cannot comment on your hat
Or share your new website!
Deactivated, that's what they say,
A f'bombie it must be
Faceless, mindless, generic, gray ...
Oh, profile, thou art not free!


  1. Hehe. :) I avoided joining Facebook, so now there's no zombie version of me that I know of. :) I'm lucky that just when it was getting popular I was dating/engaged to/just married to this really cute guy who made the thought of outside distraction quite unappealing!

  2. Very SMART young woman! I deactivated my account a couple hours after I posted a status that I was deactivating my account. I had one person comment. And then I thought, "Aaargh!" (Yes, I thought it.) "I am an addict!" And that was it! Cold turkey! And I don't want to see a picture of a single kitten in a boot or a puppy or even a hedgepiglet! This blog post is a bit of a venting/processing session. And once again, loved your post today on What Came from the Stars.